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Johannesburg – SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt believes his side was fortunate to walk away with their 1-0 Premiership victory over Pretoria rivals Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday.
Mor Diouf scored a spectacular long-range goal two minutes from time to hand Matsatsantsa the win, but Hunt said United could count themselves lucky that Sundowns failed to capitalise on a host of chances in the first half.
“In the first half we should have been two or three goals down. We were all over the show,” Hunt said after the game.
“We got through to half-time by the skin of our teeth but in the second half we looked much better. We tried to play a different way, which we did, and I thought it was good, but certainly if you look at the overall game, we were very fortunate and lucky.”
With time ticking down, Diouf picked up the ball deep inside his own half and looked to be clearing a Sundowns attack.
Instead he spotted Sundowns' goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands off his line and hit his effort goalwards, lofting over Sandilands' desperate attempt to get back and slotted neatly into the bottom right corner.
Earlier, Sundowns striker Nyasha Mushekwi missed a first half penalty, and an opportunity to secure the lead for the Brazilians, in a game that they dominated and controlled.
“Today we shouldn't have won, but that's what happens in football sometimes,” Hunt said.
“We got out of jail there. The game was too open for me. There was no compactness in the play.
“I thought it was a bit of an open game in the first half, too open and it was real counter-attack football from both sides.”
Asked about the goal, Hunt said it was a special strike and the type of last-gasp effort that was the decider in a tightly-contested encounter.
“It's something that wins games as tight as this. Once he hit it, I knew it was a goal because I saw where the goalkeeper was and he (Diouf) hit it sweetly.”
United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams put in a superb effort, earning the young shot-stopper the Man-of-the-match award, having made several timely saves after a poor display by the United defence during the first half.
“We had a lot of guys who gave man-of-the-match performances, but the team was superb,” Hunt said.
“I still think he has shortcomings. He knows that and we are trying to work on that. Ronwen has been a fantastic goalkeeper for us and he has done really well.”
In attendance at the game was Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund, who is due to name his squad to take on the Central Africa Republic in a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Cape Town later this month. Hunt believed Williams had done enough to earn a place in Igesund's group.
“Ronwen will be in the side. He is young and he has a lot of work to do. I still think (Itumeleng) Khune is the number one. I don't think anyone is better than Khune.
“I think he (Williams) needs a bit more game time, but let's see how good he is.”
Sunday's victory saw SuperSport climb to seventh in the league standings, while Sundowns moved in the opposite direction, slipping to 11th, five points adrift of Maritzburg United in eighth position. – Sapa